Benguet holds 1st Buntis Congress
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – – About 80 pregnant women including teen moms joined the First Buntis Congress to keep them abreast on safe motherhood, family planning and nutrition in pregnancy both for themselves and their babies on their gestation period and after delivery.
The activity dubbed “Buntis Congress: Buntis Trail” spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) in partnership with the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecologist was in line with the celebration of Women’s Month this March.
Dr. Antonette Agpas of the PHO said priority were teenage moms as cases of teenage pregnancy increased the past years. Teen moms were earlier pre-identified in partnership with the local government here.
Provincial data recorded 469 cases of teenage pregnancy for the second semester of 2016. For the whole of 2017, recorded were 1,046 cases. It decreased in 2018 by more than half with 549 cases.
Dr. Sharon Marcial, vice president of the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society Region 1, Northern Luzon, said most of the teen moms are 17 and 18 years old who were still actually considered as children and were at high risk with special needs and care.
Apart from briefings on safe motherhood, family planning and nutrition in pregnancy, the participants were provided information on the importance of Philhealth membership, benefits and availment.
Also provided were free services on prenatal consultation, counselling, ultrasound, visual acetic acid test for uterine cervix examination, basic oral health care and laboratory examinations such as complete blood test, blood typing, and human immunodeficiency virus, among others. “Buntis” kits which contain pads and other relevant needs were also given to the participants.
The PHO hopes to carry out a yearly Buntis Congress and expand to other areas. However, mother and child health care is a regular service being catered by the inter-local health zones clustered among nearby district hospitals and municipal local governments in the province which complement each other through their expertise, services and facilities, according to PHO Head Nora M. Ruiz.
Marcial stressed that the rise in teenage pregnancy boils down to the family. If the foundation of the family is not strong and not intact, children are vulnerable to bad influences such as peer influence.
The influence of social media even if there are good things that it contributes is another factor. Times are a changing and people are more liberal nowadays which is not very good, Marcial pointed out. No matter how liberal the society is, inculcating moral values in children especially during their formative years is important, she stressed. **JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet